Saturday, January 3, 2009

I Was Always a Queen...Even in the Eye of a Total Stranger

Happy New Year everyone! I just got back from Queens, NY where I spent days and nights visiting family, friends, traveling all over the city, catching up with peeps I hadn't seen in years and just taking a time out from the daily hustle and bustle of work.

As I ventured into the city one day I caught the Q9 bus to Jamaica Center in Queens, NY. I went to turn on my iPod to listen to some old school until I heard the bus driver greeting everyone that got on. A smile greeted my face as I turned back the clock and visited 1989-1993. Every morning when I rode the Q9 bus to the train to start my commute into Harlem where I went to school I too had a special bus driver.

His bus was always full and if you got on you were lucky. He greeted everyone with, "Good morning my Kings and Queens!"

The loud booming voice even made the wanna be thugs smile and give him a pound. He would talk to all the high school students and even adults. Every morning for four years I was reminded that I was a Queen!

As I would get off the bus and step down he would yell out, "Have a good day my Kings and Queens and don't let anyone tell you that you are anything else."

At first it didn't hit me, but as the weeks and months passed I loved the greeting. How cool was it to be announced as a Queen every morning at 7:10am! And if you were lucky...and I was a few times you got him as his shift ended in the afternoon.

When I fast forwarded to the present time I looked towards the back of the bus where some teens were starting to act rowdy. One fast stare of an elder calmed them down. But as I got off the Q9 and hit Jamaica Avenue I saw things differently. Girls with everything out (in 30 degree weather I might add), dudes yelling out sexual terms and talking down to their sistas. A couple would respond and some of our young Queens had the nerve to try and kick game with the dudes.

I stood outside on Parsons and Archer taking in everything and wondered if these young brothers and sisters knew that they were Kings and Queens and come from generations of rich heritage. If only they knew that out of the corner of someones eye an elder or adult was watching, shaking their heads.

I felt so blessed to have grown up in the era that I did and wonder if my good ole bus driver retired since he was up in age when he drove 20 years ago. The last day of high school I got on his bus and told him I was leaving for University and thanked him. He smiled and said, "I'm so proud of you and always remember no matter what you go through, think of where you came from and that you are a Queen!" I never knew his name after all those years and when I would visit home would hope to ride on his bus. But I never saw him again. I still thank him to this day.

We have to take our children back and teach them their heritage, where they came from, how to dress, how to approach and talk to one another.

They need to be taught that they are Kings and Queens. If you have a favorite person or that stranger that might have impacted your life please share. I wanted to start off the new year with good memories from way back when and even remind myself that I'm a Queen always and to never let anyone tell me other. Peace.

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